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Elegant Navy and Grey Summer Wedding

When these law school sweeties set out to plan their summer wedding, pulling off an elegant garden party at Meadowood Napa Valley was at the top of their agenda. Think an al fresco dinner layered in neutrals with a pop of navy thrown in for good measure. Downey Street Events came along side them to coordinate the day, and we’ve got the goodies straight from the lens of Jesse Leake.


From Jesse LeakeFew couples can claim that they found love while studying for the bar exam, but that is precisely what happened with Kristin and Adam. The couple met in law school, and began dating just a few months before graduation. Adam had already accepted a position at a law firm in Los Angeles, and Kristin had accepted a position at a firm in Palo Alto. With bar studying looming over the summer, and jobs in different cities following graduation, neither necessarily expected a long-term commitment.

Leading up to graduation, Kristin had told Adam that she planned on locking herself in the library to study by herself all summer and would have no time to see him. Growing up, Kristin had heard the story of her parents getting married two weeks after her mother took the bar exam, and her mother had actually moved out of the house and into an apartment to have time to study on her own. The family lore was that Kristin’s mother said to her father “Bryan, I love you, I am going to marry you, but I cannot live with you while studying for the bar.” Considering Kristin’s parents have worked together for thirty years and clearly work well together, Kristin assumed bar exam studying was a beast of its own, and something that she had to do solo.

Adam accepted her neurosis, but figured they didn’t have to cut ties for the entire summer. Adam started bar review classes in San Francisco, and Kristin started a few days later in Berkeley. She assumed they would be apart for the summer, and then move to different cities, and did not know how their new relationship would progress after that. Kristin’s master plan changed two hours into the first day of her bar review. After the first session of multiple-choice diagnostics, she called Adam and sheepishly asked if he perhaps wanted to study together. He did. In fact, he was on the next BART over to Berkeley from the city, moved into Kristin’s house for the summer, and the two of them spent every day for the next ten weeks studying together. They both realized that regardless of how stressful the studying was, they worked exceptionally well together. Adam calmed Kristin down when she stressed out, and Kristin made Adam study far more than he would have otherwise. 1,400 bar flashcards, thousands of multiple choice questions, hundreds of hours of bar review videos, dozens of practice essays, and three days of torture later, the California bar exam was over, and Kristin and Adam were closer than ever.

To celebrate, Kristin’s parents treated the couple to a dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood, a resort close to Kristin’s family’s heart, as they had spent Mother’s Day there when Kristin was growing up. Having spent little time with Adam as the couple had just started dating before spending the summer studying for the bar, Kristin’s family finally was able to understand how Kristin could have spent every moment of the summer with Adam. Kristin’s younger brother tested Adam’s knowledge, not of constitutional law, but of obscure Simpson’s references (Adam passed with flying colors). Adam won Kristin’s father over with Monty Python quotes. By the end of dinner, Kristin’s brother and father had invited Adam on a family vacation without actually consulting Kristin first (Kristin was fine with it).

Unfortunately, after their actually enjoyable summer of studying for the bar (they both passed), Kristin and Adam had to part ways; he to LA, she to San Francisco. Over the course of first year as law firm associates, the two traveled back and forth to see each other almost every weekend. Finally, when Adam received the news at 6:00 pm on a Friday evening that his firm was moving him to the San Francisco office, he packed all his belongings that night and drove up to San Francisco.

At the point Adam got the news he was being transferred to San Francisco, he was already in the process of designing an engagement ring with a jeweler in Santa Monica. Having moved, there was no way for him to choose the diamond. So, Adam sent two of his best friends (and future groomsmen) to select the stone. They did a very good job spending Adam’s money for him. Adam proposed in a secluded redwood grove in the Avenue of the Giants in Northern California.

Choosing a wedding venue was a simple decision for the couple. They immediately thought back to the dinner they had with Kristin’s family at Meadowood. They loved the fact that Meadowood had meaning in their past, but was also a location they could always return to in the future to relive their wedding memories.

Kristin and Adam wanted the wedding to feel like an elegant, intimate mid-summer garden party – similar to parties Kristin’s parents have hosted over the years in their garden. The couple loves good food and wine, and wanted to take advantage of the abundance Northern California offers. They dreamed of long kings tables, and a farm-to-table family style dinner, ensuring that their guests would share in the experience of the dinner together. Though bringing together two families, and friends from around the world, Kristin and Adam wanted everyone to feel comfortable enough with each other that by the time dancing started everyone would be dancing with each other! They truly wanted their guests to feel part of one big family instead of multiple, disparate groups.

Given that the celebration was a destination wedding for most invitees, the couple decided on the Fourth of July weekend so that guests would be able to make a vacation out of it. Kristin and Adam wanted to ensure that guests were able to experience the bucolic Napa Valley lifestyle. In the days leading up to the wedding, guests wine tasted, played croquet on the famed Meadowood lawn, and went for bicycle rides. The rehearsal dinner was held on the Fourth of July at Rutherford Hill Winery, and all wedding guests were invited to experience an authentic California taco truck and play lawn games as they watched the sun set over the valley.

Kristin and Adam wrote the ceremony themselves, and it was officiated by a dear law school friend. A Berkeley Law professor, and Kristin’s godmother, performed one of the ceremony readings. The ceremony took place under a chuppah that Adam and Kristin’s father and brother built together.

As the midsummer sun dipped beneath the trees and the bistro lights flickered on, the celebration moved inside for dancing with the amazing San Francisco-based band, Pop Rocks. Kristin and Adam’s dream came true with a packed dance floor spanning all generations. At the end of the night, Kristin and Adam were whisked away by their brothers in the getaway car: Kristin’s brother’s restored 1967 VW bus. In all, it was truly the perfect event, filled with amazing food, friends and family, and effortless sophistication.

Photography: Jesse Leake | Event Coordinator: Lauren Geissler; Downey Street Events | Florist: Sharla Flock Designs | Wedding Gown: Monique L'huillier | Cake: Sweet Things Bakery | Invitations: Alexandra Rinde; The Aerialist Press | Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaid Dresses: Kate Spade | Hair And Makeup: Meaganne McCandess | Band: Pop Rocks | Groom's Attire: Jcrew | Guitarist: Elizabeth Lowery | Linens: La Travola | Venue: Meadowood Napa Valley

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Holiday Gift Giving for Yourself with Invisalign®
With the holidays quickly approaching — how is it mid-December already?! — my present buying list has already spiraled out of control. But unlike other years, I’m putting myself down as a gift recipient because, after all, investing in yourself is seriously important. And that is where Invisalign® clear aligners comes in. Feeling amazing + self confidence is the best gift you could ever give, so why not start with a picture-perfect smile? 

With so many engagements between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, the timing couldn’t be more perfect to gift yourself something that will help you look + feel amazing on your big day! Just like a personal trainer, laser hair removal package or healthy New Year’s resolution will kick-start the new you, Invisalign can also give you that burst of confidence you deserve. In a recently conducted survey of over 500 brides from Wakefield Research, they found 91 percent of brides said they wish they would have changed something about their smile before their big day. Our suggestion? Add a healthy, radiant smile to your holiday wish list.

Working to correct + perfect your smile with clear, removable aligners, an Invisalign treatment can take between 6 and 18 months — because just like finding your perfect partner, sometimes the best things worth waiting for! And since most engagements span around a year, the timing couldn’t be better to get started on your smile. Together with Invisalign clear aligners, we’ve put together the ultimate holiday wish list that’s all about taking some time out for yourself. I’ll take one of each, please!

Be sure to top off your endless list with the perfect present that’s all about investing in yourself + your wedding day smile with Invisalign! After all, there are so many reasons to smile this holiday and engagement season.

Items Pictured: Earrings | Travel Guide


DIY Wrapping Paper Envelope Liners

Hi friends, Angela here from Saffron Avenue bringing you a quick and easy DIY envelope liners! Since we all tend to stock up on wrapping paper around the holidays, I wanted to incorporate that into my Christmas cards this year as envelope liners. I’m using some custom wrapping paper I’ve made, but as we know Target and our favorite local stores are chock-full of great styles to snag!


  • Envelopes
  • Wrapping paper
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Rubber stamp (optional)


STEP ONE | Choose your wrapping paper, I recommend switching it up between envelopes. You can really use any roll you want!

STEP TWO | Trace your envelope, since some envelopes range in size and shape I recommend just taking the one you use and trace it out. I didn’t trace the entire envelope at the bottom, I left about 1″ – 2″ off the bottom (since they can’t see the liner at the bottom).

STEP THREE | Cut it out, trim around the drawn lines (or a little inside the lines so you don’t see them). Once you are done cutting, make sure to trim off about a 1/4″ off each side (not the top, but the sides). That way it can fit right into your envelope.

STEP FOUR | Glue the flap. I used Elmer’s Tape Runner, but glue dots or even a glue stick could work. Make sure to just tape the flap, the top and a little on each side. If you tape the bottom section it’s a bit harder to put into the envelope without getting stuck.

STEP FIVE | Place the liner into the envelope. Make sure to shift it below the envelope glue, which is typically about a 1/2″ section. Just line it up and the top and sides to make sure it is even on all sides.

STEP SIX | Fold and finished! Once you have it placed and adhered you liner to the envelope, simply fold it in half to finish it off! For a few additional touches you can stamp the envelopes, or even tie your holiday card with bakers twine!

Here’s wishing you a happy holiday season, until next time! xo

Design + Photography: Saffron Avenue


Contributing Editor, Blogger Bride
Citrus-Infused Guatemala Wedding

Captured by Stacy Able, this Guatemala wedding is chock-full of color and whimsy, with pretty little details everywhere you look (read: citrus chandeliers!) The day was planned by I Do, Guatemala who pulled off the Bride’s vision by ending the evening with late-night tacos and a paper lantern send-off. And as for the gallery? Well, it’s a total must.


From The Bride…As soon as we got engaged, I knew exactly where I wanted to have our wedding. We had visited Lake Atitlan in Guatemala the prior year and I had fallen head over heels for the land. I’ve always had an affinity for anything tropical, especially banana leaves, bright florals, and all things citrus. The thought of having a wedding with a blue lake and volcano back drop, amongst giant palms, green foliage, and every bright flower imaginable just seemed dreamy to me.

The gardens and grounds of Hotel Atitlan were perfect – they even had butterflies, parrots, and peacocks roaming around. Our wedding was a destination for all 50 of our guests, half coming from the US and half coming from Europe, and we wanted to show them all the special parts of Lake Atitlan that we fell in love with. The more I experienced Guatemala throughout our trips, the more I admired their details and local native craftsmanship. I had fun creating the welcome bags for our guests and was excited at the thought that this would be their first impression and glimpse of Guatemala and the wedding weekend. On one of our planning trips we visited the town of Santa Catarina Palopó and picked a beautiful selection of hand woven, brightly patterned textiles made by the local women. Back home, my mom cut and sewed these textiles into tote bags with handles. We filled the bags with some of our favorite products of Guatemala – locally made bottles of spicy green hot sauce, a bag of Guatemalan coffee beans, and a bottle of the countries Ron Zacapa rum – in addition to a “Just in Case” emergency kit and some snacks and treats.

Our wedding day scene was filled with overwhelming plants and flowers everywhere you looked, cobblestone paths leading to each tucked away area for the ceremony and reception, Spanish style architecture in the background, and a picturesque view of the lake and volcanoes. My love for oranges and citrus worked perfectly in this setting and created a consistent theme throughout the wedding day decor. During the ceremony we offered chilled bottles of orange and lemon San Pellegrino drinks with pink striped straws. A simple floral arch of pink and white flowers and green leaves framed the view of the lake while guests looked on. For our reception dinner, we planned it at sundown so our guests could enjoy the sunset; they sat at one long rustic wood table along the lake.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always envisioned a single long table for my wedding dinner as I always wanted it to feel more like a large and cheerful dinner party then anything else. White linen table runners ran down the center of the tables with white chiavari chairs lining either side. Different shades of pink roses, white lisianthus and green hydrangeas filled glass vases and bottles with lit candles placed in between. The details were important to me, even down to the salt and pepper dishes. I like simple and clean but still soft and pretty.

As I mentioned before, I also love anything citrus and I think this setting called for citrus all day long! Each place setting had a clean, crisp folded white napkin with printed menu cards tucked inside. As a name place card, we set vibrant, large oranges with green leafy stems at each seat – and nametags tied on with twine. My favorite and most anticipated of the details were the citrus chandeliers hanging over the table. Multiple circular chandeliers made of oranges and leafy greens with candles hung from long vines within the tent. These were the focal point of the tables, the feature that helped create a certain tropical-naturally beautiful-whimsical vibe to the setting; a setting which I wanted to be less formal and more pretty and fun.

With my husband being European, an after dinner espresso was a must and this was one of his few requests. We asked the owner from our favorite local café, a young and cool South Korean coffee lover, to set up an espresso and coffee bar, which was not only satisfying and delicious but entertaining too! Guests drank hand-dripped coffee out of brightly colored mini ceramic mugs that fit in with the décor perfectly.

We also had a French hipster DJ named Olivier keeping the music and dancing going throughout the night. It was a worldly and eclectic group of not only guests but vendors as well! We ended the night with a firework show that left an excited and awe-inspiring feeling for all who experienced it. Late night, we chowed down on what we’ve collectively agreed were “the best tacos ever” and sent off large paper lanterns into the night sky over the lake. This was the sign off to a beautiful and adventurous weekend in Guatemala for all our guests and us. Carlo and I felt so happy and fulfilled with our closest family and friends surrounding us in this beautiful place. It was simply perfect.

Photography: Stacy Able Photography | Wedding Planner: Diana | Wedding Gown: Jenny Packham | Brides Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J Crew | Grooms Attire: Dries Van Noten | Grooms Shoes: Paul Smith | Coffee Station: Cafe Loco | Headpiece: Untamed Petals | Invitation Suite: Lucky Penny Paperie | Wedding Gown Shop: Panache Bridals | Wedding Venue: Hotel Atitlan

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